Brazos’ previous effort, Phosphorescent Blues, was a sleeper of an album. It was released at the tail end of 2009, late enough to affect its overall ranking on Best of lists for that year, and lost in the overall shuffle that happens with the transition from one year to the next. But I took my time with it, digging deeper than the superficial listen its release date would normally warrant, and in turn I was rewarded. Phosphorescent Blues was (and is) a solid, enjoyable album, and is one that I continue to come back to when I’m burned out on the current landscape.
Recently it was announced that the band is returning with a new album - Saltwater – that’s due out at the end of May on Dead Oceans. With that announcement came the first single, in video form, entitled “How The Ranks Was Won.” And it’s like Brazos, despite packing up and moving to Brooklyn from their former home of Austin, sounds like they’ve never left the sunshine. I suppose that once you’ve lived in Texas there’s a part of it that never leaves you.
You can watch the video for “How The Ranks Was Won” below, and that’s the Cy Twombly album art up above. The last time I was in Texas, I went to his exhibit at The Menil Collection. I remember specifically listening to Brazos in the car with my brother while we were driving on I-10. It’s all coming together nicely for me. I went looking for the pre-order yesterday only to find it wasn’t yet available. The album’s not out until May 28th, so there’s still time for that.